conceived to take care of future cargo handling requirement of the region
The Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT), which operates the
country's second largest port, has decided in principle to set up a satellite
port at the 17th century Dutch township of Bheemunipatnam, 25 km from here.
The new port idea is conceived to take care of future cargo
handling requirement of the region. “We thought of setting up a satellite port
as we have to spend a huge amount on shifting the fishing harbour from here to
Mulakedu, the area pretty close to Bheemunipatnam, where we have our own site
with waterfront area,” VPT Chairman Ajeya Kallam told The Hindu.
VPT was given 167 acres at Mulakedu and 70 acres at
Dolphin's Hill by the Revenue Department after it surrendered 250 acres to
facilitate the modernisation of INS Dega airport.
The Indian Maritime University has been asked to submit a
techno-economic feasibility study on shifting the fishing harbour. The present
fishing harbour site will be used for expanding the port area.
Mr. Kallam said they had to spend Rs.300 to Rs.350 crore on
setting up a fishing harbour by developing breakwater and a channel – the basic
infrastructure required for a new harbour. “Hence, by building few more berths
closer to it we will make the maintenance job easy,” he said.
Mr. Kallam, who is implementing an action plan to make
Visakhapatnam Port truly world-class by 2012-13, said if possible, they would
take up the new port work under Public, Private Participation mode.
A satellite port would provide freight advantage to logs
being transported from here from Anandapuram and Thagarapuvalasa.
The VPT had handled a throughput of 65.5 million tonnes
during 2009-10 – the highest after Kandla Port -- and is expected to handle
almost the same cargo during the current fiscal.
Till mid-August, it handled 24 million tonnes of cargo.
The port is spending in a big way on mechanisation. Nine
BoT operators are involved with an investment of Rs.2,300 crore in addition to
the port's spending on dredging and other logistic needs amounting to Rs.1,000
crore in the next two to three years.